Wednesday, 25 February 2015


On Monday I decide to venture into the unchartered waters of the self publishing world.
On Tuesday I spend inordinate amounts of time discovering things on the internet.
On Wednesday I feel totally overwhelmed by the whole thing. Aargh. How can this be so complicated?!!!

So, on the basis that a list calms the troubled mind, I've decided to make myself one. I shall start at the beginning......

1. The manuscript.

I'm going to work with my current project to start with for no other reason than I can remember what happens in it. It's currently out with trusted friends for feedback and an editor friend of mine has very kindly said she'll take a look. After that, I intend to send it out to a consultancy for comment. I am hoping that this will tell me what's wrong with it so that I can build it into something that I can work with. Or I can just start again....

2. The website.

I have a very basic blogger blog. (This is it!) When I did the Beyond Belief experiment (where I blogged a manuscript chapter by chapter and asked for feedback) I tried to do it via Wordpress but had to give up because I couldn't work out how to do what I wanted.  This bit is really hard for me. Words I can do. Technology is a whole different story.

3. The social media.

Facebook is my thing but my page is very much limited to my personal friends. My blog has a public page but if I am going to shift my blog/website to somewhere else then I probably need to do that before I start trying to increase my followers. This frightens the life out of me and fills me with hideous self-doubt. All other forms of social media are a mystery.

4.  The publishing format.

Here I really have no clue. I have friends who have published on Amazon and Createspace. I have also heard that Lulu is good. I have no idea. Do I want paper, ebook, both? I need a strategy before I can even decide which way to look. Research is required.

5. The information overload.

There is not much I can do about this. I think I just have to set a little time aside each day to read other people's blogs, webpages, etc and discover what I can. Discipline is required. I do not have vast chunks of time to sink into endless surfing or there'll be no time to write. I think I should find a course/conference to help me focus my research. And I'll have to talk to people.....maybe just digitally to start with!

I'm a bit scared. It feels like I'm sneaking into silicon valley through a service vent armed only with a pencil. But hey, the only way is up, isn't it?


Monday, 23 February 2015


I'm going to have to raise my game.

I've been thinking about it and if I'm serious about this whole writing business, then I need to embrace more than just writing the books. In fact, it's starting to feel like writing the books is the easy part!

I have a dream etc, etc.... Mine is to get a book picked up a real publishing house and to have it published. This is what I've been working towards since 2009 and it's still what I want. But I'm also beginning to have a bit of a rethink.

It used to be called 'Vanity' publishing didn't it? Can't get a book accepted? Then do it yourself! Simple. Now this is all fine and dandy but there's probably a reason why no one wanted your book in the first place. Hence my traditional route dream. When I publish something I want it to be proud of it and that includes making sure that it's of a sufficiently high standard so that people like me might want to read it.

But things hare changing. People who can write really well now publish independently. In fact many of them choose to do it this way and do it very successfully. In fact, I read that the big 5 publishing houses now account for only 16% of the ebook sales on Amazon.

So maybe I should try to learn something about it. After all, it's all out there in the blogosphere to be absorbed. Mind you, we are talking a VERY STEEP LEARNING CURVE. Yes I've had my blog for nearly six years (longer than many) and had the presence of mind to acquire my domain names early on (well, my clever husband did) but that's all. I am severely off the pace in every way.

But I can catch up. I can learn a little bit at a time. And to make sure that I don't give up, I'm going to take what's left of my diminishing (and I like to call loyal) group of readers with me. (That's you!)

I've decided to use this blog to record how I get on, from rebuilding my website, to finalizing my manuscript, from choosing a cover to ultimately getting something out there to be read. So, if this journey interests you then stick around. Tell your friends!!

Right then.  We begin here. I have a very basic blog with almost no features and five first draft manuscripts.

Hold on to your hats......please.


PS Please post any ideas in the comments box. All help very gratefully received x

Monday, 16 February 2015


It's there, tantalisingly close. So close that I can almost taste it on my lips, reach out and run my fingers down its spine, hold it close and feel its heart beat. Almost...but not quite.

My next book is coming. I can feel it. A kernel of a seed of a half-formed idea is burrowing its way into my subconscious. I know that it's there. It's sending out little pulses of electricity that make my stomach flip over. I keep getting tiny rushes of adrenaline. They have nowhere to go and they die almost as soon as they are born but they are there nonetheless. It's unsettling. I feel as if I am on a cliff edge and yet I'm not entirely sure which way the danger lies.

But it's so new that I can't catch hold of it. It's like a wisp of smoke, curling around me. I can see it. I can smell it but when I put a hand out to catch it, it disappears into the air and is gone leaving nothing but the unnerving feeling that I have missed something important. It has no form other than the barest outline. It is the ghost of an plot.

I love this bit. I have an idea. I toss it around in my head. I have no clue as to whether it will work, how it will look, if it can possibly be sustained for 85, 000 words. It may have no legs, an idea for a short story and nothing more. It has no characters to populate it, no form or structure at all. And yet my mind keeps coming back to it, worrying it, chasing it. It's a bit like when you did something that wasn't quite right. You can't help thinking about it, going over it in your head, justifying it to yourself. I pick away at the edges like a scab that you've promised yourself you won't touch but can't resist. I must be patient.

It needs time. I must try to ignore it and let it do its own thing. It will either grow a little into something that I can pick up gingerly and enclose in my palm until it is strong enough to breath on its own or it will die and be forgotten along with all the other embryonic ideas that never quite make it.

I shall start to write in June. Whether it will be this story remains to be seen..... Oh but it's exciting waiting to find out.